giving back

10 Bite-Size Ways to Grow Service for Earth Day

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This week's Season of Service challenge—to serve by growing something—is inspired by Earth Day 2012, which is this next Sunday. Take just a moment to think of one thing you can do to show your appreciation of your earthly home, or consult this list of 10 bite-size ideas that have to do with growing plants, growing minds, growing knowledge, growing strength, or growing the amount of stuff we recycle and reuse.

10 Bite-Size Ideas for Serving by Growing

  1. Take a picture at the same time of day every day for a week of a tulip or other fast-growing Spring plant, upload the pics to your computer, and make a short, "high-speed" slideshow for your kids to watch.
  2. Paint some paper cups or flower pots with your kids, so that you can fill 'em with dirt and seeds or beans and watch 'em sprout.
  3. Have your kids check out the games at
  4. Come up with some ideas to help increase attendance at Stillwater Cancer Support Services' unique Hospital Food Fight "Iron-Chef" competition/fundraising event. This opportunity is available through for two more days.
  5. Go on a "ladybug hunt" with your kids, armed with a magnifying glass and a camera, and upload pics of any ladybugs you find to the LostLadybug Project, which is trying to figure out why some species of ladybugs have all but disappeared and others have greatly increased.
  6. Donate $5 through to help 100 middle school kids in Warba, MN have a Green Thumb Classroom.
  7. Find a little piece of unused land that could be turned into a garden, and let the people at WePatch know about it. WePatch is an urban gardening project that brings together people looking for gardening space with those who have space to offer.
  8. Sell any used computer or smart phone technology you have that you want to get rid of on If you do it enough, you accrue points that count towards discounts on new tech.
  9. Assemble and hide a simple cache like this one in a beautiful place that more people need to see, like a grove of trees, (here are instructions for making a cache), or search for geocaches in your area with the name "grow" in them, and find them with your family.
  10. Do 10 crunches right now to increase your abdominal strength.

How Will You Give to Others This Week

  • Have you ever done any of these things? How did it go?
  • What other acts of service have inspired you?
  • How have others given to you this week and what difference has that made in your life?

How Else Can You Make a Difference This Season?

  •  Commit to do one act of kindness/service based on the week’s challenge.
  • Leave a comment with ideas relating to the week’s challenge as well as your experience(s) performing it.
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